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The city’s largest annual group event has been called off amid the spread of the coronavirus, a decision that has a large economic impact, according to the Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Officials with the National Christian HomeSchool Basketball Championships announced the decision last night, citing President Donald Trump’s call for caution and the NBA suspending its season. CVB spokeswoman Susan Wade said this year’s event was estimated to generate a $5 million economic impact.
“We are absolutely sick over having to do this, but we believe this is the right decision,” tournament officials wrote in the release.
The CVB last month projected the March 14-21 tournament would host 10,000 attendees and generate 7,021 room nights at local hotels, according to a news release.
Venues that were slated to host tournament games this month include The Fieldhouse Sportscenter, The Clubhouse, Strafford Sports Center and Missouri State University, according to the tournament’s website.
Wade said 352 teams were slated to participate in this year’s tournament.
The first downtown Springfield branch for Arvest Bank opened; a longtime licensed massage therapist became a first-time business owner; and 7 Brew Coffee opened its fourth shop in Springfield.